I am thrilled to see the recent popularity of social media surgeries. While the surgeon/patient language can seem a bit top-down, these informal volunteer events are actually based on a collaborative, community learning model that blurs the lines between the social media “experts” and the practitioners who use or want to use the tools in their campaigns and work. Both are valuable in a social media surgery.
The Netsquared Regional Conference for Cameroon and Nigeria is a multi stake holder event that will bring together actors from local Netsquared groups, Internet Society, civil society, diplomatic institutions, government and the tech world to articulate on issues related to the social web and nongovernmental diplomacy. Citizens from three neighboring countries including: Cameroon, Nigeria and Central African Republic, in a two day event will seek to resolve the following challenges:
- The difficulties faced in introducing the social web for social development in the sub region
Is digital activism truly democratic? While encouraged by great examples of digital activism in action, I remained uneasy with universalizing narratives about an equal, liberating and benevolent digital frontier.
Is the social change potential of digital realizable in the same way for everyone, everywhere? Can local communities, especially ones that have been historically marginalized, use digital tools to solve chronic problems such as poverty, political persecution, and racism, offline? Or do we just leave this important business to the big names in the social change market (i.e. large NGOs and the digital experts hired by those organizations)?